On Tuesday, 12 April, 70 people participated in the public meeting at the University of Toulouse – Jean Jaurès against French state repression, organized by the Committee against the dissolution of the Collectif Palestine Vaincra. This committee brings together around thirty Toulouse organizations to mobilize against the banning of this pro-Palestinian organization by the Macron government and to denounce the criminalization of the solidarity movement with Palestine in France.
The evening opened with the intervention of Nikola Becaut, former member of the Collectif Palestine Vaincra, who spoke about the reasons for the French government’s attack on the Collectif and other progressive, pro-Palestinian and antifascist organizations.
He said that “this new attack on the Palestinian solidarity movement is just one more step in France’s support for Israeli apartheid, colonialism and racism. […] Today, the Macron government aligns itself with the Israeli far right and defends the indefensible at all costs. It does this because Israel is the outpost of imperialist interests in this region of the world, it does this because Israel is nothing but a western colony in the Arab world.
He concluded his intervention by emphasizing :“Since the start of Emmanuel Macron’s five-year term, the government’s authoritarian and draconian policy has become more radical. Many Muslim and anti-racist organizations have been dissolved, now it is Palestine support and anti-fascist organizations like GALE in Lyon that are banned. Each time, their goal is clear: to silence the organizations that fight back against state racism and French imperialism. Faced with these attacks, we must defend the freedoms of expression and association and stand up against repression!”
On behalf of the Syndicat des Avocats de France , Julien Brel recalled that the legal basis for these dissolutions comes from a law which was intended to fight against fascist and royalist militias in the 1930s. Since then, however, te law “consolidating the respect of the principles of the Republic” (referred to as the law against “separatism” ) has since allowed a massive escalation in the use of this measure: “Dissolutions of left-wing and far-left organizations are not new. But a new legislative device has opened a wide path. In the 70s and 80s, we had about one dissolution per year. Today, we are at one per month over the past nine months.”
In conclusion, he denounced the ongoing repressive attack: “Democratic freedoms are being restricted more and more: in working-class neighborhoods, in demonstrations, etc. We are also witnessing a diversion of so-called anti-terrorist laws to criminalize associations that do not please the authorities in power.”
The evening continued with several interventions by member organizations of the Committee against the dissolution of the Collectif Palestine Vaincra . A member of NPA 31 denounced the repressive situation and emphasized that Macron and Le Pen will not give their opponents a gift and that nothing can be expected of either of them. On behalf of Permanent Revolution and the Raised Fist, Alberta said “This dissolution shows the historical complicity of France with Israel, as during the bans on demonstrations for Palestine last May. […] It bothers them because we are massively mobilized for Palestine, against police violence, for the release of Georges Abdallah. In reality, these attacks show that they are afraid of solidarity with Palestine. We are more numerous than them. We must become aware of our strength and our solidarity.”
A member of the BDS France Toulouse Campaign said that this dissolution taking place in Toulouse it is not a coincidence either. He denounced the pro-Israeli position of the current municipal government which has increased attacks against organizations supporting Palestine, by making statements against the Collectif Palestine Vaincra and by adopting an anti-BDS municipal position. To conclude the evening, a representative of the AFPS recalled the support of their association for the Collectif Palestine Vaincra and affirmed that this repression affects and concerns the entire Palestine solidarity movement, especially in light of the appalling arrest of the AFPS president. last May.
This successful initiative lays the groundwork for a much-needed response to the intensification of repression in France. Join the demonstration on Thursday, 21 April at 6:30 p.m. at the exit of the Jean Jaurès metro in Toulouse. Let’s unite against the dissolution of the Collectif Palestine Vaincra on the eve of the Collectif’s appeal to the Council of State.